Joining Forces to Combat Science Education: Ken Ham and the Good News Club

The parent organization of the Good News Club has announced that Ken Ham will be the keynote speaker at their international conference.

Back in 2015 when I first started covering the Good News Club and Child Evangelism Fellowship, fellow members of the Atheist Community of Rochester asked CEF if we could review their GNC curriculum.  We found out that, despite CEF’s claims that the curriculum is “open to the public,” in order to view the curriculum, you have to purchase it, and there’s a lot of it to buy if you want to review it all.  However, through our own research, attendance at GNC sessions, and the help of sites like goodnewsclubs.info, we discovered some of the disturbing lessons and exercises used at Good News Club meetings.

What we found through our own investigations was that Good News Clubs are teaching fundamentalist Christianity — an anti-science version of the faith where globally-accepted ideas like evolution and a 4.5 billion-year-old earth are rejected and replaced with a literal interpretation of Genesis, because, as the children are taught:

Teacher: “What is different about the Bible, compared to all other books?”

Children: “Everything in the Bible is true.”

Teacher: “Very good! And how do we know that?”

Children: “Because God never lies.”

Cue the passing out of candy rewards.  Yes, I’ve witnessed this first-hand.

A typical GNC permission slip

A typical GNC permission slip

This version of Christianity is taught, in many cases, without parents realizing it.  Good News Club permission slips are purposely written without these details and advertise things like fun, games, snacks, and Bible stories.  They know that if they actually informed parents they’d be teaching concepts that spit in the face of their children’s science education, their attendance numbers would go way down and public scrutiny would skyrocket.  So the Good News Clubs continue to intentionally deceive parents and vilify whistleblowers as “those who would like to silence God’s message of love, salvation and hope.”

And now it seems Child Evangelism Fellowship is going full anti-science in 2017. They recently announced that Ken Ham, master of science denial and willful ignorance, will serve as the keynote speaker at their 80th Anniversary International Conference in Asheville, North Carolina. The event will be held May 8th through 13th at the Ridgecrest Conference Center.  And while lately there seems to be a national focus on extremist speakers and where they’re appearing, there will not likely be any media coverage of this one — that is, unless we initiate it.

By inviting Ken Ham, CEF and GNC are essentially admitting to aligning with his version of anti-science rhetoric. They’re bringing their normally intensely-protected curriculum, or at least a piece of it, out into the public for all of us to see.  The Good News Club operates in over 5,000 public schools across the US, and is even more prevalent in other countries.  They got this large by deceiving parents, a practice that continues to bring them success and growth.

This conference is a great opportunity to open the public’s eyes to the abuses and attacks on education that are perpetrated by the Good News Clubs across the US every week, right under the noses of unsuspecting parents.

Did you enjoy this article and want to see more like it, while at the same time support the SecularVoices Podcast, Young Skeptics, and the activism of the SecularVoices staff? Then please consider becoming a Patreon patron today!
Click here to find out how you can help and what great rewards you’ll get in return!

About Kevin Davis

Kevin Davis is the head writer and editor for SecularVoices, and the author of Understanding an Atheist: A Practical Guide to Relating to Nonbelievers, a book aimed at improving relationships between the religious and their atheist loved ones. Kevin is also the Executive Director of Young Skeptics, an elementary-level after-school program for kids focused on critical thinking. Guest bloggers are welcome at SecularVoices. Please email submissions to contact@secularvoices.org.